The End – Session Six
The End – Session Six
In this sixth session David takes a road trip to visit a famous medieval painting and asks whether final judgement is as bad news as we think.

This series is taken from Burning Heart who are an organisation who are passionate about equipping churches with high quality, professionally produced and theologically rich teaching films and series. The Director is David Ingall who was the Rector of Holy Sepulchre London, an HTB Network church plant in the City of London. For more information visit their website

In this sixth session David takes a road trip to visit a famous medieval painting and asks whether final judgement is as bad news as we think.

Bible Passage – Psalm 119: 84 and Revelation 19: 11 – 20: 8

84 How long must your servant wait?
    When will you punish my persecutors?

The Heavenly Warrior Defeats the Beast
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron sceptre.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

king of kings and lord of lords.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in mid-air, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

The Thousand Years
20 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

The Judgment of Satan
7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

Key Theme

In the previous films we’ve begun to unpack just how serious the things we do wrong are, and so why some form of judgement might be necessary. Yet still I think many of us still struggle with the idea of a final or eternal judgement. Even if we can accept the idea of some judgement, we still
struggle with that.
Some of our struggles can stem from unhelpful stereotypes and caricatures. Some of the sorts of things we see in the Coventry doom definitely fall into that category. Horned devils with pitchforks, tending blazing furnaces with a sort of sadistic glee, and images like that are both unhelpful and unbiblical. The Bible is actually fairly vague about what that eternal punishment looks like. Sometimes it speaks of darkness, sometimes it speaks of fire, and at other times it speaks of a ‘second death.’
Some understand references to torment and fire as implying a place of eternally ongoing torment, a literal ‘Hell.’
Yet, however we understand God’s judgement, one thing that is clear is
that this final judgement is a terrible thing. And so, even without the unhelpful images, I think most of us probably still struggle – why can’t God
just forgive everyone?

Discussion Points